In a time where the existence of climate change has become a heated debate, students are being given the opportunity to learn about the issue at Cal State Long Beach.
On Oct. 26, a nationwide university screening of former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” (2017) will take place in the University Theater from 1:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Over 100 schools will be participating in the screening, including UCLA and Stanford University.
Gore’s first film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” centered around the present and future dangers associated with global warming at the turn of the century. Gore’s follow-up film tackles contemporary threats to the environment, the world and the changes to come with an up-and-coming “energy revolution.”
The two people leading the event on campus are honors program interim director Deborah Thien and resilience commitment coordinator Lily House-Peters, who have yet to see the sequel but have seen Gore’s first documentary.
Reviews have been mixed since the sequel’s release in July. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an overall positive rating at 78 percent, while IMDb gave it a mere 5.6 out of 10.
“An Inconvenient Sequel” follows Gore as he travels the world in an effort to meet activists and influence international climate policy, culminating in the signing of the Paris Agreement.
“Now, [global warming] feels more real and eye-opening,” said junior Brianna Ortiz. “Especially with everything that’s been going on right after another, I kind of feel like the hurricanes have to do a lot with global warming. The pollution and everything that we put in the air like the gas, I feel like it really does affect other places in the world.”
After the film, there will be a live nationwide Q&A session with Al Gore through Vimeo. Each participating school can submit one question for Gore and the top ten questions will be answered.
If there’s extra time, Gore will be taking more questions on Twitter which can be sent using #beinconvenient.
According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of the world believes that global warming is a major problem, yet the United States, which follows just after China as a major carbon dioxide producer, is less concerned than other nations.
“Our students are the next generation of leaders who will be leading on environmental issues, social issues and the intersection of those things, so it’s really important for them to understand where the world is now and see what is feasible,” House-Peters said.
The film comes to campuses as a timely response to President Trump’s eventual withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, making the U.S. one of only three countries (the other two being Nicaragua and Syria) that are not participating in the agreement.
According to Trump, the consequences of the contract are unfair to the American public and its terms must be re-negotiated before the U.S. will fully consent to the agreement.
“The fascinating juxtaposition is that [Gore’s] projections have become reality and at the same time, we’re in this alternate reality politically where the opposite is true,” Thien said. “There’s the denial of climate change and the calling back of policies.”
Tammy Phan, business accounting major, believes Trump’s decision is a mistake.
“I think [not signing] is stupid,” said Phan. “It affects all of us — nature and humans. This is clean air that I’m breathing.”
The documentary screening is free and seating is first come, first serve. Screening the film requires a licensing fee of $725, which is being paid for by the Scholarly Intersections funds. The license includes the live Q&A, a curriculum and discussion guide, DVD and Blu-ray, and an unlimited amount of screenings on campus for a year.
While the film is available for screening, clubs can reach out to Thien or House-Peters to use it as a fundraising opportunity. Thien said seats in the University Theater are expected to fill up, so students should show up early.
“Students really want to be armed with more solutions, like what are the most effective things that are students can be doing at all levels,” House-Peters said. “We get so much of the bad news and I think that always makes students say, ‘What’s the best thing I can do today, tomorrow and next year?’”